INTERVIEW: Avalanche Party

Looking for a group to get behind with a riotous energy live, frivolous and untamed, ready to knock you out the park with their unruly, relentless, and unforgiving punk music? Then meet Avalanche Party, a five piece ready to quite literally blow your socks off with their electrifying punk style, reminiscent of the classics, Pistols, The Damned, The Clash. The North Yorkshire Moors may not spring to mind as a hotspot for unruly, electric rock and garage bands, but it is home for one of the latest bands This Feeling are promoting, joining their elusive list of what they deem the best acts around. They are never wrong. I first came across the band when I saw them take on the Main Stage at Humber Street Sesh, and I was more than thoroughly impressed. So impressed that I’ve caught up with the lads just as they head off on a series of autumnal shows. We discussed how being based in the Moors has shaped their sound, playing locations for the first time on this tour, ill fated 2017 festivals, and most importantly…whether they prefer Oasis or Blur. A question that can ignite feuds. And plenty more too, of course.

zavalancheparty2Photo credit to Julie Fisher.

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Q: I always like to ask bands this; what’s the story behind your band name?

The name came from a drinking game with Thor and Zeus. We lost. They got to choose. Zeus chose Avalanche. Thor chose Party. As you’d expect.

Q: You played your first gig at 12 – has it helped in the long term beginning your music career at that age?

You’ve done research. Yeah, myself and Jord were around 11/12 when we played our first gig. The rest of the guys were probably similar to be fair. We’ve all gigged collectively for around a hundred years. Playing in front of people from an early age has definitely helped us. We were gig confident at 14 & loads more than guys we knew who were starting at 18. If you can play a working mans club in the North East at 14 you can play anywhere.

Q: Has Avalanche Party always been a five-piece?

Nope. Originally a four piece. Myself, Jord, Kane and our dear mate Owen started the band. Owen left to pursue other things and we drafted Jared and Glen in. We’ve all known each other for a very long time though from gigging in other bands so it’s all gelled together right nice. It was meant to happen, man.

(Jordan is on vocals & plays the guitar, as does Jared, Kane is on drums, Joe on bass & Glen on keys).

Q: I come from a rural area myself where it is more difficult to break into anything than if you live in a bigger town/city – did you find it hard finding your big break in the North Yorkshire Moors?

It’s difficult to say. There are more accessible opportunities living in a town/city but I doubt we’d have the same sound if we were from a city. Coming from where we are it’s pretty easy to actually find your own sound and direction that differs from your mates in the city. It’s way more hard work. Me and Jord didn’t go to school so we didn’t have a room full of classmates that came to all our gigs growing up. Our local scene is considered Teesside but it’s still a half hour drive. We have band members that live in Whitby, North Yorkshire Moors and York. On paper, it’s a logistical nightmare. At the same time, I guess it is interesting as really nobody comes from our way. The biggest thing is Rosedale iron. Which built Sydney Harbour bridge.

Q: I’ve been lucky enough to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge! How did This Feeling come across your music, and subsequently sign you up for their gig nights?

Absolute, unadulterated musical fate. It was meant to happen. A stellar outfit doing great things for new music.

Q: What is your favourite song from your debut EP?

Hard to say as it’s a benchmark of where we were at as a band and I’m still fond of it for various reasons. Probably either ‘Revolution’ or ‘Let’s Get Together’. Still play them and they get a nice response, especially recently.

Q: You’re playing a string of shows next month – are you playing mostly playing old favourites or new venues?

Both. It’s great going back to places you’ve played before but we’ve never gigged in Bristol before and never gigged in Leicester. I guess playing somewhere new always gets you on your toes. We played in Serbia couple months ago and was one of the best experiences we’ve had as a band yet.

Q: You played a huge set at Humber Street Sesh which I was lucky enough to watch; how did you find your experience playing on the Main Stage there?

Yeah, it was a special one. Hull has adopted us as a band, and to be given the nod to play probably the city’s biggest festival on its biggest stage was killer. Probably the biggest gig we’ve done. It was nice in that our hardcore local fanbase were right amongst it down at the front, but we also knew that we were playing to thousands for the first time. Exciting stuff.

Q: What do you think is the fundamental issue with 2017’s festivals, following the cancellations at Y Not and the ill-fated Hope and Glory, the latter you were actually due to play at?

Really not sure. Y Not seemed to be a case of massively bad planning for the size of the site and poor luck. At least afterwards there was more interaction with the festival as to why it cancelled and refunds etc. Hope and Glory seemed to be a huge scam/disaster waiting to happen from the start. The industry is on its knees at the moment and has been for some time. Bands, including “headline” bands will play a lot more gigs on the festival circuit as the bigger festivals just don’t pay as much anymore. In turn, this means that seemingly every Dick, Dicky and Dickworth can put on a festival and attract bands to play, even if they have no prior experience. Hope & Glory was different in that the guy that put in on was apparently just a chancer, and not every person that puts on a festival for the first time is an in-experienced charlatan. It just seems to me that perhaps there isn’t as much vetting for licences etc. But I know fuck all. I just play, or sometimes not play, these things.

Q: Which other musicians/bands are killing it at the moment for you?

Quickfire bands off the top of me head – LIFE, Spring King, And Yet It Moves, The Blinders, Baby Strange, Strange Bones, Coquin Migale, Plaza, Mouses, And The Hangnails, Forever Cult, Cabbage, BlackWaters, Vulgarians, The Pale White, loads fucking more. The North has a fuck load of mint stuff going on. Next time we talk we’ll name fuck loads of new bands. Also, add The Van T’s in there; pals from Glasgow.

And finally, a few quick-fire questions for you all to answer:

Q: Oasis or Blur?

Pulp.

Q: Favourite sport to watch?

The footy balls.

Q: Pepsi or Coca-Cola?

Buckfast.

Q: Festivals or gigs?

Providing they’re not cancelled washouts, both.

Q: Favourite movie?

I watched Anvil – The Story of Anvil again recently. A must see for any upcoming group with innocent ambitions. They played the night after us in a Huddersfield venue earlier this year. Jupiter is the limit.

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Avalanche Party kick off their huge UK September tour this weekend (2nd-3rd September); on Saturday they play London’s Water Rats at a show organised by This Feeling, before travelling to Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club on the Sunday. All their upcoming dates can be found on the poster below – it’s likely they’ll be performing somewhere near you in the next few weeks, and if they are, do me a favour: spare a few quid and check them out!

zavalancheparty1

Featured photo credit to Rory Sansom.

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